Emergency personnel are responding to a warehouse fire that started on Thursday in Kissimmee, Florida, that is causing massive plumes of black smoke to rise into the sky.
Fire crews from Osceola County, Orange County, and Kissimmee Fire Department are working to subdue the blaze, which started after five acres of plastic planters caught fire at a nursery supply company, according to a report from WFTV, which added that authorities are tracking air quality in the area. Phylicia Ashley, a reporter with WFTV, shared footage depicting a massive amount of black smoke visible from two miles away.
Headed to a large industrial fire in Osceola County. 5 acres on fire. This is the view from Poinciana Blvd nearly 2 miles away. Will bring you the latest details on @WFTV pic.twitter.com/pe9J42EkD6
— Phylicia Ashley (@Pashleytv) February 16, 2023
First responders were still attempting to subdue the fire in Kissimmee, which is south of Orlando, Florida, as of 7:00 a.m. Thursday morning. Video shared by Jerry Hume, a reporter from Spectrum News 13, shows firefighters battling the massive blaze, according to a report from the outlet.
Several agencies are assisting in battling this massive fire off Avenue A. #News13Osceola pic.twitter.com/GXybdQBe3P
— Jerry Hume (@JerryHume) February 16, 2023
The Daily Wire asked the Osceola Fire Department about the cause of the blaze, whether the fire has been extinguished, and whether any injuries or deaths occurred as a result of the incident; this article will be updated with any response.
The warehouse fire comes after a Norfolk Southern train carrying industrial chemicals derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, on February 3, raising concerns about air and water quality in the Ohio River Basin. Authorities evacuated all residents within one mile of the crash and started a controlled burn of the volatile chemicals to decrease the risk of an explosion, which could have sent shrapnel throughout the small town. Vinyl chloride, a carcinogen used to manufacture PVC, was therefore released from five train cars last week in the form of massive plumes of dark smoke visible throughout eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania.
Beyond the release of vinyl chloride, Norfolk Southern warned the EPA that a number of other dangerous chemicals were present at the derailment site. One train car containing ethylene glycol monobutyl ether currently has an “unknown status,” according to Norfolk Southern, while the amount of ethylhexyl acrylate in another car is still “pending.”
The EPA issued the full list of substances present at the site only after residents were told they could return to their homes. One first responder said in an interview with The Daily Wire that he and his colleagues experienced “bad cough, headaches, sore throat, and diarrhea” after assisting community members affected by the incident.
The derailment, which has received minimal attention from senior officials in the Biden administration, has likewise received lackluster coverage from legacy media outlets. Analysts from the Media Research Center examined all broadcast coverage of the incident between February 4 and February 14; the conservative nonprofit concluded that CBS devoted a mere 9 minutes and 53 seconds of total airtime to the scandal, while ABC had 9 minutes and 31 seconds, followed by NBC with 8 minutes and 52 seconds.
Governor Josh Shapiro (D-PA) revealed on Tuesday that Norfolk Southern provided opaque information to emergency officials; the company allegedly “failed to explore all potential courses of action, including some that may have kept the rail line closed longer but could have resulted in a safer overall approach for first responders, residents, and the environment.”